Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 27, 2015

this week was pretty crazy. it's still a bit hard to believe what happened. everything was going pretty normal, we were teaching people, inviting people to be baptized, (and Nathanael had his interview to recieve the priesthood - i imagine he recieved it yesterday) and then wednesday evening, the zone leaders called and told us that we were going to have special transfers the following morning! i am now in Yaguarón (look that up on a map!) with Elder Norton (he's from Arizona, and finishes his mission in 7 weeks). my area is pretty big (17 kilometers wide and about twice that tall) and my companion has only been here five weeks, and is only familiar with 3 of the 19 ''companies'' (divisions of suburbs (fields with houses scattered here and there) that are part of Yaguarón) so we'll be doing a bit of trailblazing this transfer. just a few days ago we went and walked down a street for 15 minutes, hoping to find houses and people that wanted to listen to us, and found an abandoned barn and a dead end. my companion doesnt even know where the branch president lives, so we have plans to find his house on wednesday - we have to take a bus and then walk for about an hour. but the people are generally pretty kind here (or at least in the companies - in the main city part there's a bunch of relatively rich people who generally dont want to recieve us). one day we were walking down a street, about a half hour walk from the route where we needed to take a bus, and a truck passed us and asked if we were going to the route. we said yes, and they told us to jump in. also on friday i ate cow foot. that was pretty interesting.

but anyways we dont have a whole lot of investigators cus the other missionaries here weren't working very effectively but our ward mission leader is one of the most capable and knowledgeable leaders that i've met on my mission, so we should be able to start working pretty well. we have plans to work with the active members to be able to find and teach all the less active members to be able to baptize their children, friends, and neighbors, and also to go out with members to get to know a bit better the parts of the area that we dont know.

we do have one investigator, Pedro, who has a lot of potential. his girlfriend is member and he went to church once before. my companion had been teaching him before, but he had never accepted a firm date to be (married and) baptized, but we went and taught him and he accepted a date for this saturday. but then he couldnt go to church yesterday so we're gonna see how we can help him to go to church so he can get baptized.

our house is huge, and we have a tangerine tree. it's pretty great. (Tangerines are in season right now)

I know that Christ is our Saviour, that this is his church, and this is his work. He loves every one of us and gives us commandments and instructions for our benefit. I love him and his work, and hope all of you can grow to love it as well.

Elder Woodfield

April 20, 2015

hola que tal

it rained quite a bit this week.

Belén went to church again yesterday (and her boyfriend too, who hadnt gone to church before in the five months i´ve been here), but they didnt stay for the classes. we werent able to teach her much this week, so we dont really know where she is in her progress. on friday we went and we taught her the plan of salvation. we left the members house, and saw outside a few old investigators who were the friends of one of the members of the family, and we asked if we could teach them. they didnt have any problems so we went back to the members house with three investigators and taught the plan of salvation again, and Belén helped us a lot to teach it. that was pretty cool

the less active sister (Wenceslada) who had contacted us a couple weeks ago and her grandchildren weren`t able to go to church yesterday, and in the afternoon they werent home, so we're not sure why they didnt go, but we're gonna keep visiting them this week

we went back to an old investigator (Richard) that i've been teaching almost the whole time i've been in this area, who is the boyfriend of a fairly active member. he's always recognized the need to change his life and be baptized, and believes that the church is true, but he never wanted to accept a date or commit to praying and asking if its true to have a real testimony. he went to the stake conference and general conference without us having invited him, and after a while of not visiting him we went this week, and he had prayed and asked God, the night after the last time that we visited him! he said he didnt feel anything, but nonetheless, that was a big leap in his progress

Nathanael continues progressing well too. he started to read the book of mormon when we started teaching him and always read a good amount, but recently he started to slack off a bit. we always asked him in what part he was and he had either read just a few verses or nothing. i recently started the book of mormon from the beginning again, so to encourage him a bit, i started to tell him where i was in my reading. we had been pretty even until he got to 1 Nephi 13, then he stopped until i was in 19. we went yesterday and he was already in 2 Nephi! it was pretty cool. we also started teaching one of his friends, Edgar, who accepted a baptismal date last week, but couldnt go to church.

on thursday we had interviews with President Agazzani. it was pretty cool

on friday we were walking around in the rain, and i was walking on the side of the road while my companion was walking in the middle, where there was a river of a few inches of water. he turned around to kick water at me, and in doing so, lost his balance and fell. when he fell our cell phone fell out of his pocket into the water. so yeah the last few days we've been without a phone.

Elder Woodfield


one day we got home and there were horses eating grass outside of our house. it's a pretty normal occurrence to see cows or horses eating grass in the street but i thought you guys (especially Serina) might like to see a picture. (one taken from behind the fence, other through the fence. there were 4 or 5, but they're not all very visible due to the camera focus)

April 13, 2015

hola que tal

this week was pretty chill. Nathanael got confirmed yesterday, and then during the time of testimonies he got up and gave his testimony! it was pretty cool. we also saw some miracles in our area, and a lot of help from God in being able to find and teach new people.

on monday we went to a members house (we were going to ask one of their sons to go with us to an appointment) and when we got there they said hey our sons girlfriend (belén) is here, and she went to the conference yesterday, can you guys baptize her? we taught her and she wants to get baptized, but is currently living with the members cus her grandma kicked her out of her house so she cant get baptized until she moves again (to live the law of chastity). but she prayed and asked God what she should do and then that night she had a dream in which all of her family was together again and they were getting along, so now she's going to try to follow the example of Nephi in 1 Nephi 3 and 4 and go try to reconcile with her family without necessarily knowing how or what will be the end result. she went to church again yesterday and likes church a lot, and believes that its true

also last week we were walking around in one of the furthest parts of our area, where we havent contacted a whole lot, and a lady stopped us on the street and asked us to visit her. turns out she's a member, and this week we went and taught her and 5 of her grandchildren! they all accepted baptismal dates, and one of them ended up coming to church on sunday.

we also went to a house where people had told us that members lived before, but that they had moved, and we discovered that two members still live there, with a lot of friends. we went to teach them and Richard (member) asked us if we could baptize his girlfriend (Pamela). we replied that we could, but asked him if he remembered what the Law of Chastity is. he looked down in shame, and asked us why we had asked him that. we explained a bit about the law of chastity, and explained that she could get baptized, but they would first have to stop living together or get married. they thought for a little bit, and then he said well we're gonna get married then. we really saw what Paul described as ''godly sorrow'', and the capacity that it has to drive people towards repentance. they ended up not being able to go to church on sunday but are reading in the Book of Mormon

also cool story - on thursday we were walking towards an appointment and we saw a young man walking down the street towards us. we said hi to him and he stopped to shake our hands, and asked if we could go to his house. he said he had been inactive for 5 years, but that day he had woken up and wanted to go back to church. he said that he had sat outside all day to see if we would walk in front of his house, and then at about 5 o clock he got tired and left to go visit some family, but as soon as he left his house he saw us walking up. he wasnt able to go to church on sunday either but committed to go next week sí o sí

it was pretty hot this week.

Elder Woodfield

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 6, 2015

this week was pretty swell. on my birthday i was on divisions with one of the zone leaders in the morning, and i made brownies. we ended the divisions and went to our lunch appointment (with some brownies, as it was the investigators birthday too). he had forgotten that he had invited us over (he's a bit older) so we just left him the brownies and went and made tacos. a photo of my birthday dinner is attached.

Natanael got baptized on sunday, and everything went fine. the water was a bit cold but it was chill. he got baptized in the conference with 5 other people in the zone.

also this week we got to start using the video Because He Lives for proselyting! it's pretty great, and can invite the Spirit a ton. we saw it with a lady (María) that we contacted and when we asked her how she liked it, she said that it was super powerful. we taught about baptism and she accepted super eagerly, and accepted all the commitments we gave her without any problems. she couldnt go to the conference cus there was a bit of bad weather but has already read quite a bit in the Book of Mormon

we were able to find the Villalba family on thursday, and had a pretty incredible lesson. we saw the video, then taught very thoroughly about repentance and then the word of wisdom, the law of chastity, the law of tithing, and the sabbath day. as we taught each commandment we would hit a few speed bumps, but at the end they accepted them. with the word of wisdom they didnt want to stop drinking coffee (and alcohol a little bit too) but at the end they ended up giving us a jar of coffee powder that was almost full, to take so that they wouldnt be tempted. with tithing and the sabbath day they put a few objections but as we explained more fully they committed to living all of them. we then invited them to be go to the conference on saturday and sunday and be baptized on sunday and they accepted! Esteban had never before even accepted a baptismal date and then they all accepted to prepare for baptism in three days. but then they didnt end up going to the conference either day, and it was a bit tough to get in contact with them, so now we're not sure what's gonna happen. this week was the perfect opportunity to be able to finish teaching them and help them be baptized, as they stopped working on wednesday, and i dont know if we'll have an opportunity like that again, so it'll be a bit tougher from here on out. honestly, we had studied on saturday in the morning how we could have the faith to be able to have that miracle occur, and we read a quote that said that if we can convince the Lord that we are willing to pay any price to help people be baptized, that he will bless us with miracles. on saturday, when we were on the bus to the conference, God gave me an opportunity to convince him, and i didnt take it, and now i feel like i failed the Lord, and the Villalba family, and my companion. it doesnt feel very good, so now i plan to always try harder to have the courage to follow the impressions of the Spirit to be able to ''bring thousands of souls to repentance'' (Alma 26:22) in the short time that i have left.

the general conference was pretty great

Elder Woodfield

birthday dinner (with a candle)


March 30, 2015

this week was pretty great. it's starting to get a bit colder, and a lot of this week was cloudy with light rain. there was transfers this week, but i didnt get transferred, and i'm still here in Kennedy with the same companion. this will be our third transfer together (which is pretty rare). at first i was a bit disappointed but now i'm fine. wednesday was Elder Paredes' birthday, and i was hoping to be freed from any obligation to give him something by transfers, but i wasnt, so i made brownies. also this morning i made pancakes, and the majority werent too badly burnt.
Natanael went to church yesterday. he continues progressing really well and is gonna get baptized this sunday in between sessions of General Conference. this week we've been teaching him the commandments and it's been pretty fun cus every time we teach him a commandment and invite him to live it, he eagerly responds yes. it's pretty incredible to see how he's progressed, because the first time we invited him to church, he didnt go, and when we went to see why, he said he wasnt going to have time to go to church or get baptized, but now he's reading the Book of Mormon an hour every day and goes to church alone without problem. also, when we ask him who he wants to say the prayers to start or end lessons, he almost always volunteers, and says both prayers. yesterday we went over the questions for his interview and we got permission to do his baptism this week from his mom. she committed to going to the baptism, and maybe to general conference as well, and expressed that she wants Natanael to be like us someday too.
we still havent been able to teach the Villalba family at all - last week the time was changed an hour, so now it gets darker a lot earlier. before the time change, the window to be able to arrive at their house to be able to share with them was quite short - we had to get there after they got home from work and before it got dark, or they'd be tired and would ask us to go another day. now they're working later and it gets dark earlier, so it's almost impossible. luckily easter (and ''holy thursday'' and ''holy friday'') are holidays, so we'll hopefully be able to find them home. if we can teach them and if they can go on saturday and sunday to the conference, they'll be able to all get baptized on sunday, with Natanael.
on thursday i went to Paso de Oro (the biggest area in my district) and did five baptismal interviews. they were widespread across the whole area, so we started at 4:30, and between all the walking and interviewing, we finished at 8, and then it took us another 50 minutes to walk back to my area 
we also have an investigator, Hugo, who's an older gentleman. his wife died a few weeks ago and we've been visiting him since. we recently discovered that he and i have the same birthday, and he invited us to go eat pig head with him on wednesday.
today with my companion we were watching a talk by Elder Holland and he was talking about how the missionaries need to be. he put a comparison, and asked if we would rather have Elder Nelson or Elder Ballard operate on the heart of one of our family members, and said that obviously if we have any choice and if we know anything about them, we're going to choose Elder Nelson, because he knows what he's doing. he then said that as missionaries (and applying to all the members as they help in missionary work) that we have to study and practice to be able to know what we're doing. thinking a little bit, and considering that there are people here that i promised in the pre earth life that i would find and baptize, the idea came that maybe those people got to choose too, they got to see what missionaries would be in the area where they live and choose who they wanted to get to them, and those who would maybe be a bit tougher in life would choose able and powerful missionaries, in whom they could trust that they would arrive, teach well with power and authority, and do everything necessary to take those people to baptism and conversion in the gospel. thinking in that, and talking with my companion, we realized that we need to make an effort to be that class of missionaries, to not let the people who are counting on us down.
i know that this church is true and that Jesus is the Christ, and our Redeemer and Savior.

Elder Woodfield

March 23, 2015

hola familia (y amigos)

this week was pretty chill, with some disappointments and some miracles. on thursday we did divisions with the zone leaders so that they could do the interview of Hector, and i went to Posta Leiva with Elder Freeman (he's been my zone leader for the past 5 transfers but this was the first time that we did divisions, so that was cool). everything went well, but on saturday i was looking over the baptismal record to make sure that everything was done correctly, and realized that Hector had only turned 8, not 9 as we believed (his birthday was on wednesday), and that the baptism was just going to be a normal baptism and that we didnt have the keys. we called the bishop, explained him everything, told him he was going to have a baptism at 7 and that he needed to get there a bit early to do the interview. the baptism went well, all his family came and some neighbors (sheila and josias) too (who also went to church on sunday; we're going to start teaching them this week). a member who's preparing for the mission got to baptize him, which was a good experience to get him a bit more excited.

we've continued teaching Natanael, who's understanding everything really well. initially, his mom was okay with us teaching him but didnt want him to get baptized until he's 18, but now she's given us permission to baptize him as well. he has recieved a testimony, and sometimes asks hard questions, which is cool cus it shows he's understanding, and meditating on the stuff we teach him. on sunday we went to his house to go to church and his brother told us that he had got tired of waiting for us and had gone alone.

the Villalba family wasnt home at all this week. the last time we taught them was last sunday. we found them once, but they came home from work super tired and asked us to come another day. we went on sunday morning to see if they were gonna go to church and Tania went! it was cool cus even though we hadnt taught her at all during the week, she's really determined to get ready for her baptism.

also another member who moved here recently had given us a reference about a month ago. we went to visit the reference and it was an older lady, named Justina, who is very strong in her church. we taught a bit about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and she and her son were just full of doubts and objections, so we didnt go to visit her more. but yesterday i was sitting at the piano in sacrament meeting and looked out on the congregation and saw her sitting there, next to the member who had given us the reference! she said she liked the teachings but someone commented to her that she had to get baptized again and she didnt like that. we went to try and teach her in the afternoon and she couldnt cus she was getting ready to go to her church. so we're gonna visit her this week and see if she wants to progress.

it's starting to get a bit colder (but not a whole lot, it's still generally hot) and a lot darker in the evening. on wednesday there's transfers, and a good possibility that i'll get transferred, but i'll find out on tuesday night and you'll find out next monday (to be continued)

i've been trying to teach english to Elder Paredes, and on friday we were eating in a members house and they gave us a ton of food. about three quarters of the way through the meal, he told me (in english) ''I need to take the toilet.'' it was pretty funny. also i've been studying portuguese. i'm reading the Book of Mormon, and understand it all, but i'm pretty sure my pronunciation is terrible

God's ways truly are higher than our ways, and when we do all we can to make our ways more like his ways, and to help others do the same, he truly sends us miracles. follow Him and everything will be fine

Elder Woodfield

March 16, 2015


this week was pretty swell. on monday we played soccer and some horse too, which was fun. on wednesday we had a zone conference that was superb, and at the end we watched Meet the Mormons! dio gusto.

but anyways, people. we've continued teaching Hector, and he couldnt come to church yesterday cus his dad was working, but has his baptismal date set for this saturday. there's a young man preparing himself for the mission who normally accompanies us to visit Hector, and when we asked Hector who he wanted to baptize him he said David (said young man) which was cool as we wanted David to be able to have that experience.

on tuesday we went to the Villalba family. we got to their house and Esteban (the dad) had just pulled up in his car. we were starting to lose hope a bit as it had been like two weeks since we had been able to find him, and then, his wife came walking up too! (it's been more than a month since we talked with her)(and it was a bit of a miracle because she usually goes to the gym at night, but today decided that she was tired. when she got home she didnt really want to share with us but then when she sat down and started talking with us, she felt completely fine) Esteban never wants us to pressure him to be baptized, but we had a good lesson about baptism and Juani (his wife) accepted a baptismal date and wants him to get baptized with her. we had an appointment on friday with them, but it ended up falling through, so we planned to go again on saturday. as we were on our way on saturday, we passed by the house of their neighbors (who are members) and saw that they were home so we decided to invite them to come with us. so we went with the couple and their two young children, and clapped (knocked), and Tania (the daughter) was home. she saw us, and thought (as she commented during the lesson) ''darn the elders came, but my parents arent home. i suppose i'll just tell them i'm busy and cant share.'' she came outside and saw that her neighbors were there too and said that all her worries just disappeared, and she invited us in. we basically just talked for a while and us and her neighbors were answering questions about the church, but i was determined to not leave that house without talking about baptism and inviting her to be baptized.  when i mentioned baptism her first response was basically ''oh this again'' but then, without us even inviting her, she said that she wants to get baptized. we explained that she has to go to church three times and she came yesterday to the conference! then on sunday we went again, and we were able to teach the whole family together. we taught the plan of salvation but also talked about a lot of other things too. Esteban commented to us that we were the third group of Elders that got to their house, and he said that he had actually disliked the presence of the other two companionships, and they all agreed that they felt something different when we visited them (which showed us the true power and effect of striving for exact obedience to the gospel) and that we talked a lot more about baptism. Tania commented to us that in the time in which we were only able to find her dad, that he sometimes commented to her that we had visited, and she replied sarcastically ''oh i bet they wanted you to get baptized, didnt they''. they said that at first it seemed like a marketing scheme but now we've seen that they have truly gained the vision to be baptized, and understand the gospel. i often smile when they understand things and when they accept what we teach, and they always say 'marketing!', but yesterday Tania commented that it was just cause we want them to be saved. we taught about the Atonement and asked how they felt upon meditating on what Christ suffered for us and they said they felt bad, for what they made Christ go through. we asked how they thought Christ would feel when they got baptized, and they said happy, and Juani gave a great summary of everything that is the Atonement. at the end we explained that as a family they could all get baptized together the fourth of april (individuals need three attendances, families two) and Juani said okay then i'm gonna get baptized the fourth. Tania reminded her that she couldnt do so unless Esteban also got baptized (he's a bit tough still and wants to wait more) and she said yeah i know. it was awesome cus we got to see that Juani has gained a vision to be baptized, and to baptize, and they're really understanding well. also, the greatest worry of Juani was that her mom would object to her baptism. but while Tania was in church, her parents were in the grandmas house, and Juani commented to her mom that Tania was in the mormon church, and her grandma was really happy about that, and said that we're a good church. it's amazing how God is just putting everything in place so that they can be baptized. sorry for writing so much, i just love this family and they're super prepared.

we're teaching another youth too, Natanael, who came to church yesterday. formerly, he had told us that he wanted to get baptized, but that he didnt have time to go to church. we kept teaching him and this sunday we went to his house to go to church with him (there was a rented bus waiting in our chapel to take us to the stake center) and his sister told us he was getting ready. he came and it was a miracle! but then after the conference the bus left without us and we had to take a normal bus. it reminded me of that time when we lived in St George and you guys went to church without me, and as i walked out of the house i saw you guys pulling around the corner.

another investigator came to the conference too - Richard. he's the boyfriend of a less active member and we had been teaching him a lot. he had promised us that he was gonna ask if the church was true before February ended, but he didnt and we kind of stopped going quite as much. but then he went to the conference and they talked all about the family (one of his big doubts is that he doesnt want to get married). we tried to go visit them last night but they had had to go to the vet.

and i think that's about it. I know that this is the work of God, that the power of the Spirit (and our obedience, by which we gain said power) is essential in his work, and that his plan makes perfect sense, if we're willing to take the time to understand it.

Elder Woodfield

March 9, 2015

Cecilia got baptized this week! and confirmed! everything went well in her baptism. her mom and cousin (who happens to be a former investigator) went to the baptism, as well as some ward members. the brownies and the cake that we made got burnt a little bit but it was chill. she was super happy, and all week she was dancing and singing and announcing her baptism to everybody and giving hugs and kisses (traditional paraguayan greeting - kiss the cheek) abundantly.

we've kept teaching Dionicio but it's been a bit hard to find him as he works a lot and his family doesnt really like us. he didnt come to church yesterday cus somebody asked him to go and help him with something, so he's not gonna be able to get baptized this saturday, but hopefully he'll be able to go to stake conference this week and get baptized next saturday.

we've also continued teaching Hector, and on sunday we saw a little miracle. to teach Hector and his family, we always need a male that can accompany us. we normally can find someone without any problems, but on monday we went to teach him and couldnt find anybody. Hector lives near the edge of our area, and two blocks from him lives a less active family, in which one of the daughters is preparing for the mission, but they attend in another ward, cus they say they like it better (and they dont know how to get to the chapel of this ward). but anyways on monday we went to see if the girl and one of her brothers could accompany us, and we went with them to teach Hector. we had a normal lesson, and everything was tranquilo. then we got to church on sunday and Hector and his sister Angelica were there, with the girl who formerly attended in the other branch. she said she had felt she should go visit them to remind them to go to church on sunday morning, and then Hector's dad (less active member) took them all to church in his truck on his way to work. we talked with his dad and he's gonna talk with his wife to decide if it's okay if we help Hector prepare to be baptized the 21st of March, which was the date we had set for him (which may also be my last saturday here). also Hector and his sister went to the ward fellowshipping night on saturday and enjoyed themselves quite a bit.

on wednesday morning i was on divisions and we had a pretty cool experience. we were walking and saw some pretty ugly clouds. we were getting hit with a few scattered rain drops, but then heard rain, turned around, and saw a torrential rain falling about twenty feet away, and advancing rapidly. we ran to a shelter as it overtook us, and waited until it calmed down a little bit. it was pretty crazy to see the rain advance like that.

apart from that not a whole lot happened this week, but here's some photos

baptism (with her mom, cousin, and her brother and sister)
and some native fruits: mburucuja and guayaba

March 2, 2015


this week was pretty great. a few challenges and setbacks but a few miracles too.

the first good news is that Cecilia's going to get baptized on saturday! on tuesday we were on divisions with the zone leaders, and i stayed in kennedy. we went to teach Cecilia, and i realized that she was all ready for her interview so i mentioned it to Elder Wilson. we werent sure if she would have permission, but he did the interview anyways and said that it was a once in a lifetime interview. i was seated a bit of a ways away with some members but during her interview i saw her smiling and telling everything she had learned to Elder Wilson, and i was just overcome with joy. it was pretty incredible. her parents had said a month ago that if she still wanted to get baptized in march that she could, but we were worrying that they had just said that to make it further away, and that they would do the same this time. but we went on sunday to talk to her parents, and her mom gave us permission without problems, and committed to come to the baptism on saturday

on thursday we did divisions too, with the other elders in the ward, and i went to the other area. we had had an appointment with Dionicio, to teach him and then go to the ward fellowship night with him too, so that he could meet some members. my companion went to visit him and his wife came out and said that Dionicio was working and that we should go back in two weeks. we were a bit discouraged, but had promised to pass by on sunday morning to take him to church, so we did. we clapped quite loudly like 5 times but nobody came out (his daughters quinceaños (latin version of sweet sixteen, but a year early) had been the night before, and they had been up quite late). we went back later in the day and he told us that he had been sleeping in his neighbors house until 11, but that he still wants to get baptized and that he's going to attend church this week without fail.

we also went to visit the less active family who happened to give us lunch two weeks ago, and we've been teaching Hector, their child who hasnt been baptized still, and we're helping him prepare to be baptized the 21st of March. they couldnt go to church yesterday cus they live really far, and the dad took the car to work, but this sunday he's gonna work close to church so he's going to be able to drop off his family. we had an appointment with them yesterday, and we needed somebody to accompany us (the dad's usually not home), so in church we went and asked a couple youth who are preparing for the mission what they were going to do that afternoon, and they answered ''go out with the missionaries, the Spirit told me to'' which was pretty cool. they came out with us and helped us teach Cecilia´s mom and Hector and his family.

it's still really hot. but last monday when we were in our house it hailed a little bit.

Elder Woodfield